OBJECTIVE : To determine the genetic diversity of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) serotype c isolated from white spot and cavitated caries lesions of schoolchildren. METHODS : S. mutans isolates were obtained and identify by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) from 28 schoolchildren. A total of 92 S. mutans isolates, identified as serotype c by PCR, were analyzed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis after digestion of genomic DNA with SmaI enzyme. 62 isolates were obtained from white spot and cavitated caries lesions of schoolchildren that presented both lesions simultaneously and 30 isolates were from saliva and biofilm samples of schoolchildren without dental caries. Cluster analyses were performed using the Dice coefficient of the BioNumerics software version 6.0. RESULTS : It was possible to determine the serotype in 190 isolates out of 255 isolates identified as S. mutans. Serotype c was the most frequent (n = 139), followed by serotype f (n = 31) and serotype e (n = 20). After analyzing the dendograms of the 92 serotype c isolates, this study identified three strains present in both types of lesions, two strains specific to the type of lesion: one strain from the white spot lesion and one strain from the cavitated caries lesion, and five strains specific to children with caries versus four strains for children without caries. CONCLUSIONS : S. mutans serotype c genetic variability is similar in terms of the number of strains present according to the caries status and type of lesion.